Bethel Man Sustained Broken Skull in Fight

Front Page / Apr. 22, 2010 1:49pm EDT

State police cited two men to court for aggravated assault, following a two-week investigation into an April 2 “bar fight” in Bethel that escalated into a brutal parking lot fight with a baseball bat.

One of the two men, Gabriel Hathaway, 27, of Bethel, sustained critical injuries in the fight and was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center that night.

The other man was Justin Melvin, 29, of South Royalton.

State police responded to the Bethel Depot at 11 p.m., Friday, April 2, for a report of a fight involving a baseball bat.

According to Tpr. Steven Cuttita, the conflict between Melvin and Hathaway began as a verbal altercation over a cell phone. The situation turned physical, and several punches were exchanged in the parking lot, the trooper reported. Hathaway then left the area, but returned several minutes later, carrying a wooden baseball bat.

Police said Hathaway tried to attack Melvin, who was still in the parking lot.

“Melvin grabbed the bat before Hathaway could strike him with it, and pushed it into Hathaway’s face, knocking him to the ground” Tpr. Cuttita reported. “Melvin then punched Hathaway an undetermined number of times.”

Hathaway suffered a concussion, a fractured skull and nose, as well as several facial lacerations, in the fight. He was airlifted from the scene to DHMC, where he remained until discharged on April 8.

As a result of the investigation, both Melvin and Hathaway were cited on felony charges of aggravated assault. Both have April 27 arraignment dates in Windsor District Court.

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